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In our last blog there is a quote from Valentin Tomberg’s Christ and Sophia that tells us “The Father thought all thoughts, and no longer creates new thoughts, for all the ideas, even to the end of the world, were thoughts created by him in the very beginning. But the thoughts of the Father would have remained as mere thoughts unto eternity if the Son had not breathed life into them.” St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that God is infinite as are the thoughts he has shared with us or continues to hold in the heavenly kingdom.
So let’s look at how we can be the gracious receiver of such wonderful gifts.
Synchronicity: Nothing Happens By Chance…
When something happens “out of the blue” the receiver often says “it just happened by chance.” But these happenings are not chance, they are synchronicities and once we set an intention, they are available to us. All we have to do is be aware that they happen and see them for the gifts they are. Here’s an example of synchronicities at work:
This winter, I have been feeling “stuck,” and was searching for a new interest. Synchronistically, I received a picture of St. Thomas Aquinas, considered to be one of the greatest thinkers in the Catholic Church. The picture was a gift that came with instructions to place it where I would see it often. I did as instructed and other synchronicities began to occur.
I became interested in learning more about the mystery of the Divine Trinity in which the Church professes that there is one God in three divine persons, a synchronicity (my interest, that is). I also was encouraged by the picture to look into the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas, and got a copy of Aquinas’ Shorter Summa: Saint Thomas’ Own Concise Version of His Summa Theologica. The second entry in the Table of Contents is The Divine Trinity. The third synchronicity.
Setting an intention
When I do Imagery, contemplation or meditation, I align myself with the Divine and state what I aim to achieve. The Tomberg and Aquinas quotes at the beginning of this posting remind me of a distinction between asking God to give or do something and setting an intention. In asking, we expect results with no further action on our part. When setting an intention we make a commitment to act. Our intention is like a magnet for the ideas God has already released into the universe, making it possible for us to be our own problem solvers. Our role is to stay in the present moment, and be alert to the reality that there are ideas that may be speaking to us in what you might call signs.
Getting the picture of St. Thomas Aquinas, becoming interested in The Divine Trinity and discovering Aquinas’ Shorter Summa are synchronicities, answers to my need for a new interest.
How To Use This Knowledge In Lent
During this season of Lent, we are called upon to do a self-inventory so we may be more pleasing to God. Begin by praying, meditating or doing Imagery as a tool for self-inventory. Sit quietly for a moment, connect yourself to God in whatever way you do (this can be a simple conversation) and tell God that your intention is to be more pleasing to Him. From that moment on, discipline yourself to remain in the present moment (clues you are not in the present moment include such words as should, would, what if, if only, etc.) AND
Watch for Synchronicities: Occurrences supporting your intention that you would previously consider as happening by chance…
…In this case, watching for ways to make your behavior more pleasing to God. You’ll recognize the synchronitities because they reveal our short-comings as well as ways to change that come before us in unexpected ways: an overheard remark; a job evaluation, where a behavior change is indicated; someone else discussing their job evaluation and mentioning a quality they have been asked to change, which you recognize as one of your own; tickets to a concert, where you meet someone helpful…the opportunities are endless.
Mirroring: Seeing your behavior played out by someone else
Sometimes, a synchronicity appears as something called mirroring. In mirroring, we find ourselves uncomfortable in the presence of someone else’s behavior. The discomfort often comes as our first recognition of a behavior we exhibit. In this case it would be behavior not pleasing to God. The more we resist, the more exaggerated the mirrored behavior may be. We are not to judge the mirror, but to observe it, recognize ourself, correct our behavior and give a silent thanks for the mirror’s appearance. (You’ll find additional information on synchronicities mirroring and reversing in the archives for July 26, 2011.)
Please let me know if continuing to present one truth of Aquinas’ Shorter Summa and a teaching from Tomberg, with a related life experience helps–or interests you.
Have a blessed Lenten season. Barbarah